2019 Hockey Tournament Updates
The 2019 Summer Games marks the 10-year anniversary of the Meijer State Games of Michigan. Hockey is one of the fifteen original sports included in the first Meijer State Games of Michigan. The Hockey Tournament has grown exponentially since it first began 10 years ago, a testament to how strong the Hockey community is in Michigan and the support the hockey community has shown the Meijer State Games of Michigan. There have been many changes to the Hockey Tournament over the year as we continually work to make the Hockey Tournament a great experience for every player that tries out for a team and every player that plays in the Tournament.
Here are 8 key changes to the 2019 Hockey Tournament over the previous few years:
1. Return to Main weekend
The 2019 Tournament returns to the main weekend (June 20-23) of the Meijer State Games of Michigan, giving athletes the opportunity to participate in Opening Ceremony. The Meijer State Games of Michigan and new hockey committee are committed to keeping the hockey tournament on the main weekend to allow athletes to enjoy the full experience of the weekend and Opening Ceremony. The change comes after moving to August in 2017 for the State Games of America and a move to July in 2018.
2. Opening Ceremony
The return to the main weekend gives players the opportunity to experience Opening Ceremony. Opening Ceremony is a truly unique and memorable experience for players are they get to interact with athletes from the 40+ other sports in the Meijer State Games of Michigan
The 2019 Opening Ceremony will take place Friday, June 21 at Fifth Third Ballpark. Games will not be held Friday night to allow all players to attend the Opening Ceremony. Hockey players will get into Opening Ceremony for free and will represent hockey in the Athlete Parade. Entertainment, guest-speaker Olympian Dick Fosbury and the lighting of the cauldron will follow the Athlete Parade.
The tryouts will be run by an independent evaluation team that will draft players to the team, giving every player an equal opportunity of being selected. Every age group for a region will try out on the same day and at the same location. This is a big change for the Hockey tournament and we feel an important one, so players and parents know where and when they will try out.
4. Honorary Chairman
David Moss has been named the Honorary Ice Hockey chairman for the 2019 Hockey Tournament. Moss graduated from Detroit Catholic Central and the University of Michigan before playing nine seasons in the NHL. We’re excited to have Moss be a part of the 2019 Tournament. Read his article on the MI Hockey website.
5. New Committee
A new hockey committee, led by new Hockey Director Mitch Laflamme, is overseeing and organizing the 2019 Hockey Tournament. The committee is focused on making the 2019 tryouts and tournament a great experience for all players involved. We are thankful to everyone that has helped and continues to help support and build the Meijer State Games of Michigan Hockey Tournament into a great experience for hockey players across the state of Michigan.
6. ACHA Coaches
ACHA coaches have committed to coaching the High School division teams giving players an opportunity to interact directly with college coaches and potentially be recruited by these coaches. Schools that have committed coaches include Grand Valley State University, Davenport University, Ferris State University, Lawrence Tech and Calvin College.
7. MAHA Regions
The 2019 Hockey Tournament will return to using the existing MAHA regions for tryouts and team formation. An additional at large team will be created for any players that cannot attend their region’s tryout, do not make their regions team or just prefer to try out in Lansing.
8. New Medal
A new medal design will be launched during the 2019 Summer Games! The 2019 Meijer State Games of Michigan medals will be unlike previous medals with a square shape and featuring a slightly see through blue fill.